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Severinus of Noricum (Saint)

(207 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] According to our only source, the Commemoratorium vitae s. Severini (511) of Eugippius, Severinus was a high-born Roman living as an anchorite in the East. After the death of Attila in 453, he went to Rhaeto-Romania as a monastic ascetic, charismatic, and miracle-worker. There he organized the Rhaeto-Romanic population politically and socially during the death throes of the western Roman Empire and prepared them for their journey to Italy. His positive relationship with the Rugian house me…

Morocco

(845 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] The Arabic name of Morocco is al-Mamlaka al-maġribīya (“The Western Kingdom”). The name Morocco derives from Marrakesh (Arab. Marrākuš). The country is located at the intersection or Europe, the Middle East, and West Africa. A clear ethnic distinction between Berbers and Arabs is not always possible. Some 60% of the population speak Arabic, the rest Berber languages. Obscurity still surrounds many aspects of the cultural, political, economic, and religious life of the population before the arrival of the Arabs and Islam in the 7th and 8…

Stylite

(333 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] Stylitism was a special form of early Christian asceticism, in which the stylite stood for long periods, usually for life, on a platform atop a pillar (Gk στῦλος/ stýlos, hence “stylite”), which often was raised in stages, sometimes to a height of more than 20 m, as a visible expression of the ascetic ideal of extreme homelessness and immobility. It was the duty of monks to provide the stylite with sustenance and communion. As motivation the sources speak of total separation from the world and proximity to heaven. Proposed non-Christian models have been ruled out. ¶ This rad…

Moschus, John

(158 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] (Eukratas; c. 540/550, Aigai in Cilicia? – 634, Rome?), monk of the monastery of St. Theodosius in Jerusalem and of the laura of Pharan; after 578, he set off with his disciple Sophronius to visit monasteries and ascetic communities in Egypt, Palestine, and Syria. A journey to Rome in 614 in the face of the impending threat of Persian invasion remains unclear. In the tradition of the Apophthegmata Patrum , Moschus collected his travel experiences in the ¶ form of edifying anecdotes, gathered from monks and ascetics, in a compilation dedicated to Sophronius …

Silvester I, Pope

(194 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] ( Jan 31, 314 – Dec 31, 335). According to the Liber pontificalis and hagiographic tradition, Silvester was a Roman presbyter under Bishop Miltiades and a confessor in the Diocletian persecution (Persecutions of Christians: I). He did not come forward as bishop of Rome in succession to Miltiades during the reign of Constantine the Great. ¶ He was informed of the results of the Synod of Arles (Donatism), which he probably did not attend out of fear of endangering his episcopate; he played no role in the conflict with Arius and Arianis…

Peter Mongo

(191 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] (“Stammerer,” or “hoarse”; died 490). In 477 Peter was elected bishop (patriarch) of Alexandria by opponents of the decrees of Chalcedon, as successor to Timotheus Aelurus, but he was able to take office only after the death of Timothy Salophaciolus and the recognition of the Henotikon in 482; because of the intervention of John Talaia (Acacius of Constantinople), he was not recognized by the West. He was also opposed in Egypt by Monophysites because he had signed the Henotikon and refused to condemn Chalcedon. Theologically, Peter must be considered less a…

Miles Christi (Soldiers of Christ)

(1,391 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] I. Definition – II. Early Christianity and Military Service – III. The Militia Christi in Primitive Christianity and the Early Church – IV. Middle Ages – V. Modern Period I. Definition Latin militia Christi (“military service for Christ”; cf. the more common miles Christi/ dei, “soldier/warrior of Christ/God”) is a metaphorical description of the life and service of Christians in the world (cf. “the church militant”). Borrowing the language of apocalypticism and imagery common to antique philosophy, it interprets the C…

Eutyches,

(122 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] priest and archimandrite of the Monastery of Job in Constantinople, exercised great influence at the court so that Cyril of Alexandria sought his assistance as mediator as early as 432. As a radical proponent of the theology of one nature (Monophysites/Monophysitism) and an opponent of the union of 433, he was accused of Apollinarianism (Apollinaris of Laodicea) in 447/48 at over 70 …

Theophylactus of Ochrid

(176 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] (c. 1050 – c. 1126), student of Michael (actually Constantine) Psellus, deacon of the Hagia Sophia and royal tutor at the court of Michael VII. Around 1090 he was made archbishop of Ochrid and Bulgaria, de facto the Byzantine metropolitan even though Bulgaria remained autocephalous de iure under Byzantine rule. The majority of his literary output consists of biblical commentaries in a traditional vein; in the conflict with the Latins, he took a moderate position. Other surviving works include homilies, encomia of martyrs, a m…

Leo of Ochrid

(199 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] Leo of Ochrid, 11th-century Byzantine theologian, chartophylax of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, after 1025 in Achrida/Ochrid as autocephalous archbishop of Bulgaria under Byzantine rule. To support the anti-Western campaigns of the patriarch Michael Cerularius, in 1053 Leo composed an encyclical to “the Franks” ( RAPC 2, no. 862), addressed to the southern Italian bishop John of Trani, in which he attacked Western liturgical practices (Saturday fasting, unleavened bread in the Eucharist) as Judaizing heresy. Commissioned b…

Maximinus the Arian (Saint)

(216 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] Maximinus the Arian (Saint), a Homoean. In 428/429, Maximinus belonged to the retinue of the Goth Sigisvult in Africa, where a disputation with Augustine of Hippo on the doctrine of the Trinity took place (Possidius, Vita Augustini, 17), the minutes of which are preserved in the Conlatio (CPL 699). Augustine subsequently authored Contra Maximinum ¶ Arrianum (CPL 700) against him. Invoking the Synod of Rimini (359), Maximinus argued in favor of a subordination theology with an explicit use of biblical language. A typical aspect of latt…

Homoiousians

(910 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] Homoiousians, a term in use since the end of the 19th century to denote a theological group that arose from the Arian dispute while remaining particularly ¶ indebted to its Origenistic heritage. The name derives from the term ὁμοιούσιος/ homoiousios (= of similar substance, in contrast to ὁμοούσιος/ homoousios = of the same substance; Homoousios, Homoeans) as a description of the relation of God the Father to the Logos/Son in the Trinity. Today, the neutral “Homoiousian” has replaced such contemporary polemical terms as “Arians…

Julius I, Pope (Saint)

(229 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] Julius I, Pope (Saint), bishop of Rome from 337 to 352. With Athanasius's and Marcellus of Ancyra's flight to Rome in 339/340, the West became involved in the (church-)political controversies that followed upon the death of Constantine the Great. After the Eastern bishops failed to comply with a summons to attend a synod in Rome, a Roman synod convened under Julius in 340/341 annulled the verdicts of the Eastern synods against Athanasius and Marcellus and rehabilitated both of the…

Ignatius of Constantinople

(165 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] (d. Oct 23, 877). The son of Emperor Michael I Rangabe, after whose deposition (813) he was forced to become a monk, was elevated uncanonically (without vote of a synod) to the patriarchate by Empress Theodora II in 847. After her fall in 858, he had to resign in favor of Photius. Pope Nicholas I did not recognize his resignation. In the context of the rapprochement with the West of Emperor Basileios I, which resulted in the deposition of Photius, Ignatius was reappointed as patriarch in 867; in a conflict with Rome over ecclesiastical jurisdic…

Constantius II

(508 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] (Aug 7, 317 – Nov 3, 361). The Roman emperor Constantius II was the second son of Constantine and Fausta. He was made Caesar in 324; upon Constantine's death in September of 337, he became Augustus over the eastern half of the empire. Because his primary military challenge was securing the eastern border, until 350 he spent most of his time in Antioch. After the death of Constantine II in 340, the rivalry between Constantius and his younger brot…

Pope

(242 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] Pope is the designation of the bishop of Rome as successor to Peter (the disciple), head of the (Roman) Catholic Church, and holder of a universal primacy of teaching and jurisdiction within the church (Papacy). In the Greek church, πάπας/ pápas ¶ was originally a title or term of address for abbots and bishops; later it was reserved exclusively to patriarchs. There is inscriptional evidence from the second half of the 4th century for its use by the Roman bishops; in the Latin church, it has been reserved exclusively to t…

Homoousios

(383 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] The Greek term ὁμοούσιος means “having the same ousia/substance/essence.” This compound adjective, which denotes the essential identity of origin and emanation, is found in Gnostic texts and also in philosophical usage after the time of Plotinus and was probably adopted from Manichaeism. It was on account of its Gnostic/Manichaeist connotation that the term homoousios was probably not employed by the exponents of a trinitarian theology of identification (Monarchianism) to describe the relationship of God and the Son/Logos. It is unc…

John of Damascus (Saint)

(449 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] (c. 650, Damascus – before 754, Mar Saba). The legendary vitae of John hardly contain any factual information. John of Damascus was born into a Christian family of the Greek Damascene upper class, which initially collaborated with the caliphs. His family enjoyed close ties to the court of the caliph, in whose service he also stood. Before the year 700, probably because the Christians were increasingly ¶ being driven out of public offices from the late 7th century on, he retired to the Mar Saba Monastery near Jerusalem. There, he officiated as pri…

Victor of Vita

(181 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] cleric in Carthage and author of a Historia persecutionis Africanae provinciae dating from 487/489, which describes the situation of the Catholic Church in Africa under the Vandals. In keeping with historiographic tradition, Victor included documents; the conclusion of the Historia (III 71) and the Passio VII monachorum (CPL 800) are secondary, but not the prologue. Hanns Christof Brennecke Bibliography Works: CPL 798 M. Zink, Bischof Victors von Vita Geschichte der Glaubensverfolgung im Lande Afrika, 1883 Storia della persecuzione vandalica in Africa, ed. S.…

Studios Monastery

(273 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] monastery in the Psamathia quarter of Constantinople, founded by Studios, who was patricius and consul in 454. Its church, a three-aisled basilica dedicated to John the Baptist, was begun in 450; it was converted into a mosque after 1453. Today it is the only pre-Justinian church ruin in Istanbul. It was among the largest and most important monasteries of the capital, with great wealth. During the iconoclastic controversy (Veneration of images: VI) in the 8th and 9th centuries, under its abbot ( hegoumenos) Theodore of Studios it became the most important intel…
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